AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue in Texas, health officials are asking large hubs and other smaller providers to put a bigger emphasis on distributing to residents who are 75 years and older.

In a briefing with the Department of State Health Services, the chair of the state’s expert vaccine allocation panel, Imelda Garcia, said Texas has distributed more than 2.75 million doses of the vaccine. She said more than 2.1 million have received at least one dose and about 620,000 are fully vaccinated.

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Garcia said state medical experts want vaccine sites to make accommodations in order to provide more older residents, 75 years and older, with doses.

“We want to put an emphasis on vaccinating people who are at least 75 years since they are at the greatest risk for severe disease and death,” Garcia said. “We are asking all of our vaccine providers, both hubs and others, to make accommodations to serving older adults.”

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Garcia said the state’s allocation panel discussed strategies with providers about getting doses to that older population.

“Some of these [strategies] could be setting aside a specific number of doses for our seniors, serving them during special hours, helping them move more quickly through the line with a fast track lane or taking vaccines directly to them through the EMS providers or Meals on Wheels like they are doing successfully in Corpus Christi and San Antonio,” Garcia said.

According to data from the Department of State Health Services, one in four residents over the age of 65 have received a vaccine and one in 10 over the age of 16.

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CBSDFW.com Staff